The Apostle Paul spent lots of time confined either in prison or under ‘house arrest’ and yet, in the midst of confinement, he writes a letter to the Philippian church. The theme of the letter? It is known as the Joy Epistle! Can we really experience joy in the midst of confinement?
Let’s briefly examine 3 sources of joy that Paul mentions in his Joy Epistle…
1. Paul was joyful because his confinement led to the advancement of the gospel.
Philippians 1:14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the Word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
2. Paul experienced joy because he had the confidence and assurance that no matter how his confinement turned out – his eternal destiny, heaven – was secure.
Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
3. Paul was joyful because he was the recipient of the love, care, concern and prayers of others during this difficult time.
Philippians 4:18a I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent.
I trust that during these days of confinement, you too will experience joy; the joy that the gospel is advancing in spite of our confinement. The joy of knowing that our citizenship is in heaven. The joy of being on the giving and receiving end of expressions of love, care, prayer and concern from the body of Christ.
By the way, for the person who left a package of marshmallow peeps for my wife this week: THANKS FOR BRINGING HER JOY!!